Limits on Power Are Limits on Oppression

December 19 marks the birth of John Taylor of Caroline, who remains virtually unknown, despite being called ‘the most impressive political theorist that America has produced.’
Taylor, who served in the Continental Army, Virginia Legislature and U. S. Senate, was an Antifederalist, opposed to the overpowering central government he believed the Constitution would create. As F. Thornton Miller put it, ‘For Taylor, the Constitution was of worth only if it could serve the more fundamental cause of liberty.’
Taylor defended liberty and states’ rights, advocated a strict interpretation of the Constitution’s terms against federal overreaching, and vigorously opposed government favors and protectionism, which he called ‘the most efficacious system of tyranny practicable over civilized nations.’
Taylor’s positions stand abandoned today. Government has become ever more the dispenser of special treatment at others’ expense. That is why Taylor’s 1822 Tyranny Unmasked merits revisiting.
Political liberty consists only in a government constituted to preserve and not to defeat the natural capacity of providing for our own good.
Governments able to do so uniformly sacrifice the national interest to their own.

This post was published at Mises Canada on DECEMBER 29, 2017.

China Tests Hypersonic Weapon, Rendering US THAAD Powerless

The art of (future) war is rapidly evolving with Beijing spearheading the push into the first modern operational hypersonic glide vehicle (HGV). According to The Diplomat, the weapon, known as the Dong Feng (‘East Wind’), DF-17 for short, is designed to challenge existing missile defense systems, such as America’s anti-ballistic missile defense system called: Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD).
An unnamed U. S. government source, who has studied recent intelligence reports on the People’s Liberation Army Rocket Force (PLARF), said China conducted two separate tests of the hypersonic missile back in November. The first test was conducted on November 01 and the second test took place on November 15. The Diplomat signals, that the November 01 test was the first Chinese ballistic missile launch to take place after the Communist Party of China’s 19th Party Congress in October.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Fri, 12/29/2017 –.

Dystopian Vietnam Launches 10,000-Strong Cyber-Unit To Combat “Fake News”

Reuters has revealed a rather disturbing Orwellian tale of Communist-ruled Vietnam marching towards a complete censorship of the internet.
Government officials have announced a new, 10,000-strong military cyber warfare unit used to combat ‘fake news’, amid a much larger crackdown on critics of the state.
The announcement came in a speech on Christmas Day given by Lieutenant General Nguyen Trong Nghia, a deputy head of the military’s political department. According to state-run media, Lt Gen Nguyen revealed the 10,000-strong army of state-owned hackers called ‘Force 47’, will be targeting enemies of the Communist party who ‘create chaos’ online.
Lt Gen Nguyen further said, ‘in every hour, minute, and second, we must be ready to fight proactively against the wrong views.’
‘Force 47’ could be compared to the so-called 50-cent army, employed by Communist China, who are paid 50 cents for every website that is censored. Communist-ruled Vietnam has certainly escalated this latest attempt to control the internet, especially the ability to censor political dissidents on social media.
Bloomberg reports, the disclosure of the unit is the government’s effort to put more pressure on YouTube Inc. and Facebook Inc. to remove accounts promoting anti-party views.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Thu, 12/28/2017 –.

Meanwhile In The UK: Going About Our “Normal” Lives?

Authored by Douglas Murray via The Gatestone Institute,
One of the most striking images from the night of the London Borough Market terror attack was of drinkers being marched out of the Market under police escort with their hands on their heads. The British public at that point looked not like stoical, pugnacious heroes, but like a defeated army being marched into captivity. Contrary to all our public statements, we have become terrorised, just as the terrorists want. It is a glimpse into the soul of a city; and like all such ugly glimpses, we will turn away from looking at it, rather than considering it and wondering what it truly suggests. Whenever Britain suffers a terrorist attack — and it has suffered four Islamist attacks this year alone — the British public responds the same way.
Twelve years ago, when four suicide bombers detonated homemade bombs on the London underground and on a red-top bus in central London, there was much talk of “Blitz spirit”. After 7/7, the media erupted with boasts of wartime echoes. Some people who lived in London noticed a rather different atmosphere. Of course people “got on with their lives” (what else could they do?) but in the days and weeks after the attacks it was not really “business as usual”. Especially not after another four suicide bombers went onto the tube a fortnight later, on July 21, and attempted to repeat the exercise. Fortunately, on that occasion the bombs failed to detonate. But during the period that ensued, it was certainly easier than usual to get a seat on the London Underground.
Of course, political leaders relish the opportunity to accentuate and exaggerate these echoes. If the British public are the citizens of London in the Blitz, then the politicians are Winston Churchill. After attacks like the 2013 daytime slaughter of Drummer Lee Rigby on the streets of London, then-Prime Minister David Cameron stressed from the steps of Downing Street that “One of the best ways of defeating terrorism is to go about our normal lives. And that is what we shall all do.” These themes are thought to play deep to the spirit of the British people.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Dec 27, 2017.

Brent Jumps After Explosion At Major Oil Pipeline In Libya

After a quiet overnight session, the price of Brent Crude spiked following news of an explosion at a Libyan crude oil pipeline that feeds the Es Sider sea terminal – home of the largest oil depot in Libya – a source from the Libyan National Army told The Libya Times Tuesday. The blast happened near 30km northwest of Marada, the source said.
#Breaking: #LNA sources accuse islamist militants from ‘the #Benghazi Defense Brigades’ of blast targeting the main pipeline linking the Sidrah terminal and #oil fields belonging to al-Waha company. The attack took place about 30km northwest of Maradah. #Libya pic.twitter.com/DjDqj0qQHk
— The Libya Times (@thelibyatimes) December 26, 2017

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Dec 26, 2017.

Palestinian Santas Clash With Israeli Forces On Christmas In Bethlehem

On Christmas Eve, Palestinians, many of them dressed as Santa Claus, staged a rally in the city of Bethlehem in the West Bank protesting against to the US recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. Israeli forces used tear gas and stun grenades against the protesters near an Israeli military tower in Bethlehem – the ancient city widely acknowledged as the traditional birthplace of Jesus Christ.
Throughout Jerusalem, Bethlehem, and the West Bank pilgrimage and tourism was noticeably down over the Christmas holiday season as protests and clashes over President Trump’s December 6th announcement continued, which also included plans to relocate the US embassy to Jerusalem in order to reflect the change in status.
via Reuters
The AFP reported that even many locals have stayed away from centrally located Christmas celebrations at traditional gathering places this year due to the clashes:
On Bethlehem’s Manger Square, hundreds of Palestinians and tourists gathered in the cold near a huge nativity scene and Christmas tree to watch the annual scout parade. They took pictures as a marching band made its way through the square towards the Church of the Nativity, built over the spot where tradition says Mary gave birth to Jesus. The square usually throngs with tourists on Christmas Eve, but clashes between Palestinian protesters and the Israeli army in the past weeks have kept people away this year.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Dec 25, 2017.